Friday, November 20, 2009


Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. ~John Quincy Adams

All things come to he who waits, provided he knows what he is waiting for. ~ Woodrow Wilson

Patience is the key to paradise. ~ Turkish proverb

These quotes seem to fit our situation perfectly. And patience has been our focus as of late because we're basically in wait-mode. We are waiting until after the holidays to put our house up for sale. We are waiting until the January RV show in Denver to start seriously shopping for an fifth wheel (although we continue to research). But we also need the house to sell in order to buy the RV. We are also waiting until the house goes under contract before we sell some of our major stuff like furniture and car and before I tell my employer that I will be leaving. Tracy already shared the news with hers, but hasn't given a hard date. It feels like all we're doing is waiting for time to pass...

I've not blogged recently, mostly because I didn't feel like I had much to report. But we do continue to make small progress, especially in the area of purging. Our garage sale a few weeks ago introduced us to a gentleman who was interested in buying some of our large items - elliptical machine, pool table, bar. He was in the process of finishing his house and wasn't in a position to make a deal that day, but we kept in touch with him. He came by tonight and gave us the payment in full for all three pieces, although he won't be taking them until he can bring along some helpers. We have no problem holding the stuff as long as we have the cash. I'll be making a trip to the bank tomorrow morning to make the deposit! :)

We have also been able to get rid of some of our household items. A friend of ours is in the process of moving into an apartment and doesn't have much in the way of the basics. So it worked out great for us. There were several things leftover from the garage sale which he could use, as well as some of the household items from our current RV. After all, we won't be needing 2 sets of things. We also sold him our dish set, which we weren't exactly planning to sell quite yet, but we knew it was a good opportunity. They are a nice Pfaltzgraff stoneware set, but way too heavy for RVing. They had to go eventually. We still have some mismatched pieces from old sets and our cheapo dishes from the RV, so we'll get along fine for awhile. But it will also give us incentive to go shopping for our new dishes soon!

Speaking of shopping, it is so hard not to continue to accumulate stuff. Now I'm not a real big shopper, be we did just make a Kohls run last week and replenished some of our clothing. We are trying to live by the one in, one out rule, but we have yet to discard anything after this trip. We are justifying it to ourselves that we just did a big purge of clothing, but we probably need to be a little more strict. I know there are things that are worn and old, our "weekend" clothes, but how many of those do you really need? And then the other night we were walking by a book/gift store and decided to go in. Of course I kept finding books that I wanted. It was a spiritual store and there were many books about achieving your dreams and following your instincts. As I read the synopsis, I kept saying 'hey that sounds just like us!' It would have been fun to read a few of them, but we walked out without buying any. Small victory! After all, we have a stack of books to get through before we leave. And then, most of our reading will be done through our Kindles, which I prefer to physical books anyway.

We know that time will go by fast now that the holidays are upon us. We need to spend the next month doing a few cosmetic things to the house in order to have it ready to go on the market. Luckily, there's nothing major we need to do, but it's hard to get motivated to fix up the house for someone else. I hate to invest any amount of money in it not knowing if it will really make a difference in the end.

So in the meantime, we will continue to work on our patience. That is not something I'm very good at, but practice makes perfect, right? And we have a lot of practice ahead of us!

Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving. We sure do have a lot to give thanks for this year! :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Life Uncommon

On our way to the Rally last month, I put together an RV-Dreams playlist for our iPod. I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to listen to all of the lyrics, so I ended up selecting many songs just based on their titles. One of these songs was "Life Uncommon" by Jewel. I have since listened to it many times and each tim I am amazed at how perfect the lyrics are. We are ready for a life uncommon! (the editor of this tool leaves little to be desired and won't space the lyrics correctly, but you can still read them)

Life Uncommon
Don't worry mother, it'll be alright
And don't worry sister, say your prayers and sleep tonight
It'll be fine lover of mine
It'll be just fine

Lend your voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And you shall lead a life uncommon

I've heard your anguish
I've heard your hearts cry out
We are tired, we are weary, but we aren't worn out
Set down your chains, until only faith remains

There are plenty of people who pray for peace
But if praying were enough it would have come to be
Let your words enslave no one and the heavens will hush themselves
To hear our voices ring out clear
With the sounds of freedom

Come on you unbelievers, move out of the way
There is a new army coming and we are armed with faith
To live, we must give


Monday, November 2, 2009

Pieces falling into place...and a birthday present for Tracy!

What a whirlwind week it has been. Life is moving quickly and things seem to be working out better than we ever could have anticipated. The only explanation I can offer is that we must be destined to do this. But let me back up a little bit...

We were scheduled to have our first major garage sale on Saturday and 3 days before, a major winter storm hit and we were buried under 2 feet of snow. I began to wonder if the universe was trying to tell us something. After all, who’s going to come to a garage sale when it is buried under snow? I was just hoping that all of the hard work we put into it wasn’t going to go to waste. But as often happens, I found out that I had nothing to worry about. Typical of Colorado weather, once the snow stopped, the sun came out and temperatures rose quickly. Saturday was a beautiful day with bright sunshine and temperatures in the 60’s. What a great day for a garage sale! We didn’t have as much traffic as I had hoped and some of the items, like winter clothing, didn’t sell like I expected, but overall the people who did show up were ready to spend money. We managed to get rid of quite a bit of stuff and made $475! All in all, not a bad day.

While we were stuck inside during the storm, I decided to search for trucks. This is something we’ve been doing quite frequently in the last few weeks; basically just to monitor what’s available and to get an idea of how much we should expect to spend. We figured we’d start seriously shopping in January. Besides, we still had a lot of truck education to gain before then. Well, to my surprise I found a used 2008 Ford F450 in mint condition with low mileage at a local dealer. I showed Tracy and we agreed that it might be worth a look at some point, but we had a busy weekend coming up. So we set it aside and continued our preparation for the garage sale. But neither of us could stop thinking about it. Tracy even suggested that a truck would make a nice birthday present! :) So the next day I contacted the dealer to find out if it was still available. It was! But we still didn’t know when we’d have time to go see it. In the meantime, I posted some questions to the RV-Dreams forum seeking advice. Some of these folks have done tremendous research on trucks and have far more knowledge than I do. When I got home from work on Friday afternoon, Tracy said, “let’s go see the truck”. We figured it wouldn’t hurt to just look, right? (ha!) We took it for a test drive and were impressed. It looks big from the outside but didn’t feel all that different from our Explorer. It was also very quiet and pretty smooth for a large diesel truck. We asked that it be brought into one of the showroom bays so that we could see it in the light. It still looked great. But we were adamant about sleeping on it before making any decisions. After a restless night, we were still conflicted about it. Buying a truck this early was not in our plans. What if something happened in the next 6 months to change our mind? Then we’d be stuck with a big truck. Also we’d have to finance it until the house sold, so now we’re incurring more debt instead of reducing debt. But we just couldn’t shake the feeling that this was a rare find. We already knew that there weren’t a lot of 450s in the area, and we had yet to see a used one. The cost of this one was about half of what we’d have to pay if we bought a new one. And a new one was really going to stretch our budget and probably require us to make sacrifices on the fifth wheel. So we waffled back and forth all day on Saturday while running the garage sale. In the midst of that, I was receiving a lot of great information and advice from the forum. As soon as 3:00 hit (the scheduled end to our sale), we shut the doors and headed to the dealer. And as you’ve guessed by now, we bought the truck! So we are now proud owners of a 1-ton diesel dually! She has been christened as Frieda B. (a.k.a. Free To Be) . Happy early birthday (and Christmas…and Valentines Day…and Anniversary…) Tracy!!

Tracy and Hunter ready to hit the road...wait for me! :)

As if that wasn’t enough for the weekend, we also have a strong lead for a job next summer. Again, this wasn’t in our plans. We had planned to spend our first summer in Alaska. We want to visit while the kids are still living there, but we also figured that it would best to go while we had excess funds. If we aren’t able to make as much money as we hope, we may not be able to afford to go to Alaska in future years. It’s a long drive which means high gas expenses and the cost of living is higher. But on the other hand, we don’t know if we want to pass up a good opportunity. There would be a certain level of comfort in making an income right away. It would allow us to get settled and figure out our expenditures while still bringing money in. And it would provide us with good experience for similar jobs in the future. So once again, we are a little conflicted about what to do. But most everything so far as worked themselves out, so we are going to have faith that whatever is meant to be will happen. And even if it doesn't work out for 2010, hopefully we'll be on the top of the list for 2011.

To wrap up the week, we can finally report that we have told our most of our family and close friends. There are still a couple of friends that we have yet to connect with, but we are making progress. And it has gone much smoother than anticipated. While some concerns were raised, everyone was very supportive. I think that it is very clear that we have done our homework and we are trying to make smart decisions. I think it is also apparent that we already have our minds made up. This is not a decision that we’re still pondering…this is a conclusion that we have already reached. Most of the reactions have been excitement mixed with a little envy. Not one person has called us crazy, at least to our faces! Of course everyone has some concerns, but so do we, and we appreciate hearing all of them. So far all of the concerns that have been brought to our attention have been ones that we pondered ourselves and have been able to work through them or at least admit to them. So I guess all of that anxiety that we harbored over breaking the news was pretty much for naught!

Phew, I feel a bit exhausted. I feel like we turned a corner this week. Even though we had mentally made the decision, it still felt a bit like a dream. We had given ourselves some dates, we had gotten rid of some excess junk, and we had shared our dreams with a few people, but we had yet to make any major commitments. We are no longer wondering “can we really do this?”, but are now saying “oh s*%$, we are really doing this”! We are more certain than ever that we are making the right decision. After all, if it wasn't meant to be, would all of the pieces really be falling into place so easily?